Jervis Bay is home to Hyams Beach and sixteen other white sand beaches meaning that if one is packed, another one isn’t far away. But there’s more to see and do in Jervis Bay than white sandy beaches and pristine aqua waters. There are National Parks and bush to explore, walking tracks to navigate, secret spots to find and winter packs a great weekend away too if your goal is to avoid the masses on summer vacay.
At just 200 kilometres from Sydney, the Jervis Bay region is the perfect day trip from Sydney or weekend getaway, both adventurous and romantic. Pack the car and set off for one of the south coast of New South Wales’ many beautiful villages.
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Driving is the easiest option because in just under three hours you will get to Jervis Bay from Sydney. Head south from the city along the Grand Pacific Drive (you get to traverse its entire 140 kilometres) passing the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge and a number of coastal towns surrounded by wineries, natural attractions and adventure activities.
It would hardly be a surprise if one day you come back to the region based on something you saw along the way to Jervis Bay. And, a short detour inland will also set you on course for the Southern Highlands region of NSW—the closest wine region to Sydney.
If driving isn’t an option, you can still make it to Jervis Bay.
Catch the train from Central Station, Sydney, to Bomaderry Station (just across the Shoalhaven River from Nowra) and then bus it to Huskisson. You’ll be lucky to make it under four hours but you’ll make it.
Use the Transport NSW website for train times and then check here for the 102-103 bus route.
Option number three is to get on a tour from Sydney and let them do all the work for you. Most day trips will include a stop at Bulli Lookout (just north of Wollongong) as well as the Kiama Blowhole.
Water-related things to do in Jervis Bay
If you’ve come to Jervis Bay, then you’ve probably come to do something water-related. After all, Jervis Bay is a marine life paradise. Fishing is illegal so all the majestic sea creatures get to live a fear-free life (from humans) down where it’s wetter.
Which beach do you want to check out first? Is it Hyams Beach? Or maybe it’s one of the quieter beaches like Nelsons where dogs are allowed off the leash between 4-8pm, or maybe it’s Collingwood Beach popular with windsurfers and stand-up paddleboarders.
Perhaps Callala Bay and Callala Beach is your preferred destination with their long stretches of white sand and local shops nearby. Or if you’re looking for a spot to catch the sunset, then try Murray’s Beach but, then again, you’d hardly complain about the setting sun over the mainland from wherever you are.
SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Most Breathtaking Beaches In Sydney
On the water or under
Remember that Jervis Bay is a protected marine park and it is quite unique with its distinct geology and oceanography, relatively natural and undeveloped coastline and mix of ecosystems, habitats, and flora and fauna. The ocean and sea currents enter Jervis Bay and flow clockwise essentially flushing it out every 24 hours or so. Consequently, the region supports over 230 algae, hundreds of invertebrates and over 210 reef fish species. Sharks, rays, many marine mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened species also call Jervis Bay home.
Winter and spring in Jervis Bay make for a great spot for whale watching as well, as the humpback whale migration takes off between May and November. More than 40,000 humpback whales will first swim north in the earlier months before returning south to Antarctic waters at the end of the season.
- Humpback whale and dolphin watch
- Snorkle and scuba dive
- Kayak and paddleboard
- Boat around the bay for a day
Things to do out of the water
The Jervis Bay area is also surrounded by Booderee National Park to the south and Jervis Bay National Park to the north, making bushwalks, treks and a favourite choice among visitors, especially when one walk will connect multiple beaches for you to see and explore.
Walks and hikes
Want to knock off a few Jervis Bay beaches in one afternoon? Go on the White Sands Walk beginning at Vincentina Sailing Club at Plantation Point and ending at Hyams Beach. It’s an easy 10-kilometre return-trip walk that will lead you past a number of beaches including Greenfield Beach, which was named one of The Guardian UK’s top ten beaches in the world.
You could also walk to Steamers Beach, a short three-kilometre trek through the bush from the carpark which, if you really wanted to, could be extended out to a 20-kilometre circuit through Booderee National Park for the more adventurous. However, it’s best not to swim at Steamers Beach due to frequent tows as well as shark sightings. For a dip, try Kittys Beach or Whiting Beach. Just follow the St George’s headland trail.
For the curious out there, Gossangs Tunnel is a must. Just an hour return walk along the Abraham’s Bosom Reserve track in Currarong, explorers will come across a small tunnel hidden amongst the shrubbery where. If they’re not claustrophobic, they can crawl 20 metres and come to see the beautiful sea cliffs on the other side. Take a look below.
And since you’re in Currarong already, don’t forget about the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse that you saw in the distance from the White Sands Walk or check out the absolutely stunning Honeymoon Bay. Both are well worth a visit.
For a gentle stroll, the Boodaree Botanic Gardens offer a fantastic option. They are also the only Aboriginal-owned botanic gardens in Australia so there’s plenty to learn and appreciate.
Sometimes at the end of a long day of exploring, all you want to do is kick back with a good beer and relax. If that sounds like you, head down to Jervis Bay Brewing Co. in Huskisson for “good beer, good people and a damn good time”.
Or, if the rains have ruined your Jervis Bay plans, why not go catch a movie at Huskisson Pictures. It was once a community hall built way back in 1913 but has been showing films since the 1950s. Don’t think you’ll be sitting on fold-out chairs though, as the quaint cinema got a great renovation in the 1990s which saw it decked out.
For those interested in maritime history, the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum impresses visitors with a range of artefacts and collections including the Lady Denman ferry which operated on Sydney Harbour from 1912 until 1979.
Where to eat in Jervis Bay
You’ve worked up an appetite and today you don’t want to be bothered with the cooking. Thankfully, Jervis Bay makes eating out a simple thing to do.
Can you really say you know a town if you haven’t been to the local hotel/pub? Even if you answer yes, a visit to the affectionately called The Husky should definitely be on your list of places to check out. For close to 100 years it has remained the focal point of the town and continues to bring people together. It’d be a shame if you missed it.
For Vegetarians in the know, Huskisson is also home to Pilgrims Vegetarian Cafe. Yep, the very same mini-chain of cafes that’s also in Cronulla. In the area, you’ve also got Mexican by wat of 3 Gringos, Japanese at Kanpai, and burgers from 5 Little Pigs.
Where to sleep in Jervis Bay
Camp or glamp at The Cove or Paperbark. In Jervis Bay, there’s something for everybody. But whatever you decide, if you plan to go in the summer, you better book in advance. Months in advance. And with some places, you’re probably going to want to be making that reservation a year ahead.
For more accommodation options, head over to the Jervis Bay Tourism website and see what suits you, your friends and family best.